Working in the foster child’s best interests
We welcome foster carers who have children or young people already in their care and we will guide and support you through the transfer process. We will talk to you about the circumstances of the child you are caring for, and help you make the move positively for you and your foster child.
Our priority is the welfare of the foster child and the process centres around this. Everyone involved in the care of the foster child will discuss the potential impact and if it’s in the child’s best interests to remain in your care as you move to another foster agency. In our experience, the child will usually be allowed to transfer with you; it’s very rare that they can’t.
All parties will also agree and plan the practicalities of how this will happen. You will be included in all these discussions.
Process of transferring with a foster child
- As the foster carer, you must give written notice of your intention to consider moving to National Fostering Group. You need to let your current agency and the local authority know.
- When they receive your notification, the placing authority will inform the child’s independent reviewing officer of the intended change. They need to hold a meeting within 28 days of all the relevant parties – the placing authority (commissioning/contracting officers and the children’s social workers), the current fostering provider, and National Fostering Group (as the new provider). You will also be invited.
- The meeting will consider:
- Decisions made during the child’s latest Case Review, especially whether it’s in the foster child’s best interests to continue their time with you, and how their care plan will continue to be followed.
- How the child might be affected by your move to another service, such as the loss of or changes in relationships, activities and support services.
- The particular support needs of the foster child and you as the foster carer, and how they will be provided by National Fostering Group.
- The circumstances in which National Fostering Group may use any other vacancy once your transfer has been completed.
- The arrangements for approval by National Fostering Group and termination of your approval by your current service. The arrangements will be co-ordinated to ensure continuity.
- Where it is decided that the foster child’s time with you should not continue, arrangements to move the child to a new foster family. This is rare – more often than not the foster child will transfer with you.
- A timetable for your approval as a foster carer for National Fostering Group, including assessment and training. These will be completed within two to four months of the meeting.
- Our fostering panel will make its recommendation on your suitability within four to five months of receiving your application.
- When we’ve let you know we are preparing to approve you as a National Fostering Group foster parent, it’s time to submit your resignation to your current fostering service.
How we support you
We’ll support you as much as we can throughout the transfer process. Once you decide to transfer, for example, your first point of contact as a transferring carer will be a member of your local fostering agency team. Where possible, this will be the registered manager. If you like, you can also meet with some of our current foster carers before making the decision to transfer.
Talk to us about the transfer process
If you’re thinking about transferring from another foster agency, we recommend getting in touch to talk it over with complete confidentiality. We have teams in every region, so you will be able to chat to a fostering professional who is local to you. They will be able to share their experience with you and give you all the information you need to make a decision.